Autologous Microfragmented Adipose Injections

About Autologous Microfragmented Adipose

At all of our ROSM offices (Washington, DC, Annapolis, North Bethesda, Columbia, Tysons Corner, & Reston), micro fragmented adipose tissue is used in musculoskeletal medicine to focus your own body’s ability to heal. Many well-done published studies demonstrate its effectiveness and safety in treating many musculoskeletal issues . We use an FDA-cleared process for preparing adipose that has been in clinical use for 10 years and supported by over 120 peer-reviewed publications from well-respected institutions around the world.

Adipose (fat) is an excellent source of mesenchymal stem cells, vascular cells called pericytes, and structural collagen fibers known as a matrix. The adipose tissue supports the body’s own repair process of damaged or injured tissue. Fat has been used to support healing since World War 1. There are many benefits to your own fat such as 1) easy to collect using a minimally invasive procedure using a local anesthetic, 2) plenty of volume to collect for injection into multiple sites, 3) minimal risk of rejection or infection since you are using your own tissue, 4) research has shown that as a person ages, their adipose tissue maintains the reparative properties unlike other tissue. 

Fat provides a cushioning to support the healing process of damaged or injured tissue.  Having our staff precisely inject micro fragmented adipose tissue into the site of injury can kickstart the healing process.

What to Expect

This is a minor surgical procedure done with sterile technique. We usually get good quality adipose from the upper buttock area, but other areas, such as the abdomen, may be used. You will lay face down on a comfortable body pillow, then your skin will be cleaned with a surgical skin cleaner (Chloroprep) and the area will be draped with surgical drapes.

Our physician will mark the collection site with a surgical marking pen, and local anesthetic injections at two skin entry sites. Then a tumescent solution of saline, lidocaine, and a small amount of epinephrine is injected with a blunt needle into the fat below the skin. This solution helps break up the fat, numbs the area, and minimizes any bleeding under the skin.

After the solution has set for at least 12 minutes and the area is numb, an adipose collection cannula is placed under the skin, and the adipose is gently withdrawn. This is usually a comfortable process, but you may feel a twinge or pinch during the aspiration.

The fat harvesting technique collects a small amount of adipose, usually about 200 milliliters or less, (for comparison, a 12-ounce soda can is 355 milliliters). Rarely, there may be some small dimpling in the skin that will even out naturally over the next six months.

The aspirated fat is then processed using the proprietary system, which gently washes the adipose with saline to remove the inflammatory oils while filtering,  cleaning, and concentrating  the adipose tissue to an optimal size for injecting into the damaged or injured tissue. Once prepared, the adipose is ready for injection.

We numb the skin at the injection site with a small needle and local anesthetic (buffered lidocaine). Your physician will then precisely inject the micro-fragmented adipose into the injury sites using ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance.


Avoid NSAIDs like ibuprofen, as these suppress inflammation. Therefore, they counteract the effects of most regenerative therapies. You may use acetaminophen for mild pain.

Avoid showering for 1 day and immersion in water for 3 days after your procedure. You may remove any bandages after 1 day.

Unless given other instructions, move slowly through your full range of motion after 3 days. It will be sore, but the movement will not damage it. In fact, it needs to move to heal!

For the next month, avoid specific activities that hurt you before treatment.
Exercise is vital to good health and finding a way to cross-train around your injury is important not only for your physical health but for your mental health as well. Your ROSM physician and physical therapist can help you with this. Brief heat or ice therapy will not disrupt your therapy, but you should alternate, 10 minutes on 10 minutes off.

Depending on the injury, physical therapy starts 2 to 4 weeks after the micro fragmented adipose tissue injection. Gradual improvements in pain and function should occur 8 to 12 weeks after injection.

Want to Learn More About Adipose Injections? Contact ROSM For More Information!

The specialists at all of our ROSM offices (Washington, DC, Annapolis, North Bethesda, Columbia, Tysons Corner, & Reston)  have years of expertise administering adipose injections as a form of minimally invasive sports medicine procedures. This therapy may help our patients to potentially avoid unnecessary surgery and provides people with a less invasive way to recover from orthopedic conditions. Call or book an appointment online to speak with a doctor about whether adipose injections are right for you!


Author: Sean Mulvaney, MD


Disclaimer: Individual results vary. Not all patients will have the same post-procedure recovery and activity level. See your physician to discuss your potential benefits and risks.

The Lipogems System is a sterile medical device intended for the closed-loop processing of your own fat tissue in medical procedures involving the harvesting, concentrating and transferring of your own fat (adipose) tissue harvested with a legally marketed lipoplasty system. This can be a minimally invasive procedure that’s done in the office, to support soft tissue defects and may promote healing in orthopedics and arthroscopic surgery. Lipogems may or may not appropriate for all patients.

Like any medical procedure, there is a risk for soreness, redness, swelling, and/or pain. These procedures require needle access (size, location and depth vary depending on the procedure) and this may result in (but not limited to), discomfort, pain, apprehension, bruising, tenderness, bleeding, swelling, or infiltration at the injection site. Other symptoms that may occur include lightheadedness, fainting, nausea, or vomiting. There is slight risk of infection at the injection site and have minimal risk of adverse reactions or complications as with any other injection procedure. Since the fat is from your own body there is little concern of disease transmission, allergic reaction or tissue rejection. For patients with chronic medical conditions such as autoimmune, diabetes, heart or lung disease, circulatory diseases or obesity, extreme caution may be necessary.

There are rare but possible risks and complications due to fat transfer including an allergic reaction to the local anesthetic, damage to underlying structures, hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal), changes in sensation, unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures, permanent discoloration caused by a ruptured blood vessel at the treatment site, calcification, a divet in the area of the tissue harvest, peri-operative bleeding, a blood clot at the treatment or donor site, an infection, scar tissue, and a fat embolism caused by a fat injection mistakenly directed into a blood vessel, and death.

The information presented is for educational purposes only. Speak to your doctor to decide if Lipogems procedure is appropriate for you. Individual results vary and not all patients will return to the same activity level. The lifetime of any procedure is limited and depends on several factors like patient weight and activity level. Your doctor will counsel you about strategies for your post-procedural care. It is important to closely follow your physician’s instructions regarding post-procedure activity, treatment and follow-up care. Ask your doctor if Lipogems procedure is right for you.

Lipogems or other corporate affiliated entities own, use or have applied for the following trademarks or service marks: Lipogems. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners or holders.


Get an Appointment

Complete The Form Below And We’ll Get Back To You Immediately.


Hear What Our Patients Are Saying.

Read More